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POY Potential: Top 5 Mich. football recruits

10/13/2011

The Gatorade Player of the Year Program honors athletes who meet comprehensive and exacting criteria in high school sports. Candidates are judged on athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders also must demonstrate high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership. Senior status has no bearing on a candidate’s merit and selections are made independent of ESPNU's recruit rankings.

That being said, the state’s top five football recruits as ranked by ESPNU are sure to enter the 2011-12 Gatorade Football Player of the Year conversation at some point. Here they are …

1. Cass Technical High (Detroit, Mich.) cornerback Terry Richardson

  • ESPNU 150 rank: 67

  • Height: 5-foot-9

  • Weight: 160 pounds

  • College: University of Michigan (verbal)

  • Testing results: 4.72 40-yard dash; 25.7 vertical jump

  • Traits: man coverage, zone coverage, ball skills, instincts

  • ESPNU scouting report: "Richardson lacks obvious size but plays and competes much bigger. Possesses great confidence and a lot of intangibles sought-after in a cover corner. Short with limited bulk and it's an area he will need to build up to press and compete versus bigger college receivers."

2. Cass Technical High (Detroit, Mich.) outside linebacker Royce Jenkins-Stone

  • ESPNU 150 rank: 115

  • Height: 6-foot-2

  • Weight: 215 pounds

  • College: University of Michigan (verbal)

  • Traits: diagnosing skills, inside run support, outside run support, tackling

  • ESPNU scouting report: "Jenkins-Stone is a tough, productive player showing the ability to stop the run and play coverage effectively. Has the size and athleticism for the outside linebacker position at the major level of competition."

3. Harrison High (Farmington Hills, Mich.) tight end Devin Funchess

  • ESPNU position rank: No. 5 TE

  • Height: 6-foot-4

  • Weight: 215 pounds

  • College: University of Michigan (verbal)

  • Traits: hands

  • ESPNU scouting report: "Funchess is a tall and lean tight end that can catch the rock and make plays. He is a long limbed and rangy kid who is skinny for a tight end. He is built more like a wide receiver and could fill that role, but will more likely fit as a 'spread' tight end."

4. Saint Mary's Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.) inside linebacker James Ross

  • ESPNU position rank: No. 7 ILB

  • Height: 6-foot

  • Weight: 217 pounds

  • College: University of Michigan (verbal)

  • Traits: diagnosing skills, inside run support, tackling

  • ESPNU scouting report: "Ross is a very competitive linebacker who does a great job defending the run inside and off the edges. Has the height but presently lacks the body mass we like to see for the inside linebacker position at the major level of competition."

5. Harrison High (Farmington Hills, Mich.) defensive end Mario Ojemudia

  • ESPNU position rank: No. 20 DE

  • Height: 6-foot-2

  • Weight: 222 pounds

  • College: University of Michigan (verbal)

  • Testing results: 4.99 40-yard dash; 29.0 vertical jump

  • Traits: pass rushing, disruptiveness, pursuit

  • ESPNU scouting report: "Ojemudia is a defensive end with solid size. His measureables on paper are not eye popping and he will need to add more good bulk to his frame, but he does look to have a very nice wingspan for his build. He gets off the ball well."

A dedicated POY team at ESPNHS manages the Gatorade Player of the Year program selection process and oversees all research, reporting, comparative analysis and criteria-compliance on the award program’s behalf.